Companies become vulnerable as new accounts driven laws put spotlight on environmental reporting
3 July 2006, News release from Hyder Consulting Ltd
A large proportion of UK firms appear to be unaware of the new environmental measuring and reporting legislation that came into force in April 2006 warns Andrew Bell of Hyder Consulting (UK) Ltd.
As a result, those not up to speed face fines and disciplinary action against them in April 2007, highlights Andrew Bell, one of the company's sustainability specialists at the international engineering consultancy based in Birmingham. He goes on to explain further.
"The European Union Accounts Modernisation Directive (EUAMD) is a new accounts related legislation that is being driven by the ever increasing demand for greater climate change and environmental efficiency in the business marketplace.
"The new law requires all large and medium size firms to expand their Director's annual report to incorporate the success of new environmental performance indicators introduced by the government in April 2006. Firms should now be examining which of these key indicators, provided under the new laws, apply to their business, set realistic targets to meet them and report against them.
"They include energy use and carbon emissions, and apply to the supply chain of each firm too. Eligibility of firms who must adhere to this new law is measured using criteria such as employee levels and turnover and profit levels.
"The introduction of the new legislation has not been widely advertised and there are high levels of confusion in the marketplace. Two years ago the government introduced a similar initiative and many rushed to conform. However, this was abandoned by the government last year to allow for this European legislation. Worryingly it appears that firms are only aware of the removal of the initial directive, and are unaware of the new replacement legislation.
"Next April the government will be expecting the first reports to be submitted and those that don't comply will face fines and avoidable interrogation of why the results are not being declared. Firms who fall under this new legislation are, for example, those who employ more than 250 employees and deliver a turnover of more than £ 22.8m.
"This warning really is a call to action. It's no good putting systems in place just weeks before the report is due to be submitted. How can any company accurately gauge environmental impacts for the last eight to ten months if proper monitoring and recording procedures have not been put in place?
"The thinking behind this new legislation is to push businesses into saving energy, being more efficient & responsible with material resources but also more aware and responsible of issues like climate change and the pressure we put suppliers under in not properly identifying & managing carbon emissions."
For further information please email Hyder Consulting Ltd